Hiring a Family Law Attorney When Adopting a Child

How To Qualify For An H-1B Visa

by Jamie Nichols

The U.S. job market is struggling to find enough qualified employees to fill their open positions. Help wanted signs are posted everywhere you look, and posted specialty positions appear for longer periods. If you, or a family member trying to come to the U.S., possess specific specialty skills, this may be the perfect time to apply for an H-1B Visa. Will you or a family member qualify? Here is some information that may help you decide.

What Is An H-1B Visa?

An H-1B visa is an employer-sponsored, non-immigrant visa allowing people to work temporarily in specialty positions within the U.S. There are 65,000 of these available each year, with approximately 20,000 more available to those who have earned a U.S. master's degree or higher. 

Because the H-1B visa is employment-based, your employer sponsor must not only make you a job offer but must be willing to participate in the process with the U.S. immigration department on our behalf. Once your application is selected for consideration, there are numerous documents they will be required to submit.

How Do You Qualify For An H-1B Visa?

There are several things you will need to show to be eligible for an H-1B visa. These are:

  • A job offer for a specialized position with a U.S. employer
  • Proof of your bachelor's degree or equivalent training 

Proof from your potential employer will be required to show the lack of qualified U.S. applicants for the position.

Registration with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be required. Once registered, you must be selected to apply for the lottery process. You will be required to pay a registration fee and provide some basic information about your sponsoring company.

Annually, there is only a 14-day window to apply, and less than half of the registrations submitted annually are selected to apply.

Once you are selected to apply, it is at this point your employer will file a petition on your behalf. In the petition, the employer must justify the need for your services. This justification is done by certifying that they cannot hire someone locally who has the needed academic or professional qualifications. 

The employer must submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor for certification. In this application, your employer must attest to two things. These are:

  • You will be paid the same wages as other workers with equal skills in your area 
  • Your working conditions will not affect other workers

Your employer will then submit the certified LCA and the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) to USCIS along with required employer fees and any additional requested documentation. During the preparation of this documentation, your employer may require some information from you. This information may include:

  • Proof of your education
  • Proof of professional memberships
  • Your resume
  • Additional training certification
  • A letter of support 

Once all of this is submitted, what you do next will depend on whether you already live in the country. 

If you live in the country under another type of visa, your H-B1 visa must become active before starting work. If you are not living in the country, you will need to apply for consular processing and pay the associated fees. Once submitted, you will need to schedule an interview at a consulate or the nearest U.S. embassy. 

  • Required documentation at that appointment include:
  • A valid passport
  • An additional passport-sized photo
  • The confirmation page of your Form DS-160
  • Your I-129 petition and I-797 approval

You will also need to provide all of your receipts showing you have paid the required application fees. 

A family immigration attorney can help you increase your chances of being approved for an H-1B visa by creating your USCIS account and registering on your behalf. An attorney knows how to answer the questions. Give them a call today.